Would you be surprised to know that in about 10 minutes you could help change the trajectory of your community for the next 10 years? It’s as simple as completing the 2020 Census, a once-a-decade survey that counts every person living in our country. It’s quick and easy…and your data are protected! You can do it online or by calling 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

Completing the Census is one of the most powerful actions you can take as a parent to help your child and your community for the next ten years of their lives.

Your community receives money from the government based on the number of people living there. When people do not complete the Census, their communities do not receive the resources they deserve. This is money for things like schools, health clinics, roads, libraries, food stamps, Medicaid and much more. While it’s required by law that every single person living in the US is counted in the Census (not just US citizens), many people are missed. And, the results of an undercount can be devastating for communities.

Do you know who is most undercounted in the Census? Young children (under 5 years), particularly black and Latinx youth! In the 2010 Census, more than 2.2 million children were not counted. This means that many of our black and Latinx communities are under-resourced – they do not get their fair share of money from the government for critical programs and services. As of June 18, 57.5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., have completed the Census, 65.5 percent in Maryland and 66.4 percent in Virginia.

In case you need more convincing: Aside from deciding where TRILLIONS of federal dollars are allocated, the results of the Census determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. Census data are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads and more services for families, older adults and children. But, if children are not counted on the Census, they will be invisible in all of these decisions…for the next ten years!

What you can do right now

  • Complete the census. Take 10 minutes to complete the Census at my2020census.gov and include ALL people living in your home, including babies and children!
  • Urge others to complete the census. Urge your friends, families and colleagues to complete the Census. An easy way to do this is to post a Census message to social media – such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – challenging your networks to complete the Census.
  • Educate your children about the census. Talk with your children about the Census as it’s never too early for them to learn about why the Census matters – here are some great videos you can share with younger children.



Census 2020 National Art Competition

All children through Grade 12 are eligible to participate in this competition. Children can enter the competition through any artistic creation (e.g., drawing, painting, collage, craft, photo, video, etc.) inspired by the theme “Count All Kids in the 2020 Census” – more info can be found here.

Many of us are looking for ways that we can pitch in to help our communities during these difficult times. Completing the Census is one small action that you can take today that will have a big and lasting impact. And, if you’ve already completed the Census, make sure your friends and family have, too. Let’s Get Everyone Counted Today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chaya Merrill Chaya Merrill, DrPH, is the Director of the Child Health Data Lab within the Child Health Advocacy Institute. In this role, she leads data analytic activities that support community health and advocacy initiatives.

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